What if a dump became a park? / by Kwinten Lambrecht

I took these pictures in only 10 minutes time.

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Between two 'urban highways', where speeding cars galore, Porte de Hal and Porte de Ninove are connected through a long concrete strip full of parked cars and loads of garbage. It's called no man's land. Things are slightly changing since the Brussels' Government decided to build a park on the dump of Porte de Ninove in two years from now. But for many Bruxellois, it does not end there because no man's land remains untouched. The park 'stops' at the beginning of the urban dump.

It would be an ambitious but necessary statement to transform this piece of rubbish into a park too. Because the population deserves it. This long strip is a border between Brussels and Anderlecht, a real frontier between the poor and the poorer. A place where nothing is beautiful, where no dreams exist.

In this area only 60% of the population has access to a nearby park or green zone, the average in the entire Brussels-Region is more than 80%. Additionally, the average size of a house is *only* 60 square meters, while the average is 74. Also, the net income per inhabitant in this area is extremely low: 8.500 EUR, the average is almost double. The area is poor, and nothing makes people want to love it. The streets are filled with speeding cars, there are no nice shops, the streets are filled with rubbish and no entertainment opportunities exist. It's a dump of garbage, of aspirations, of new beginnings and endings.

Which courageous politicians don't fear the 'public opinion' of 100, maximum 200, parked cars? Who is willing to stand up and give people what they deserve when they exit their tiny apartments? This is the boulevard of shame, but it can be transformed. 

All we need is courage.

Credit: Dami De Jonge

Credit: Dami De Jonge